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Jean-Baptiste Caire Claim(1929)

FACTS: On 11 December 1914, Jean-Baptiste Caire, a French national, was unlawfully shot and
killed at an army barracks in Mexico by two Mexican army officers, a major and a captain aided by a
few privates, after Caire refused a demand by one of the officers to pay a sum of money. This
prompted Caires widow to sue Mexico for indemnity.
ISSUE: WON Mexico is responsible for actions of individual military personnel acting without
orders or against the wishes of their commanding officers
HELD: YES. The French-Mexican Claims Commission held that Mexico was internationally
responsible for the conduct of the army officers. In this regard, Presiding Commissioner Verzijl
observed that, under the doctrine of objective responsibility (state responsibility for the acts of state
officials or state organs even in the absence of fault on the part of the state), a state is internationally
responsible for acts committed by its officials or organs outside their competence if the officials or
organs acted at least to all appearances as competent officials or organs, or used powers or
methods appropriate to their official capacity .
Here, The officers in question consistently conducted themselves as officers ; in this capacity
they began by exacting the remittance of certain sums of money; they continued by having the victim
taken to a barracks of the occupying troops; and it was clearly because of the refusal of Caire to meet
their repeated demands that they finally shot him. Under these circumstances, there remains no doubt
that, even if they are to be regarded as having acted outside their competence, which is by no means
certain, and even if their superior officers issued a counter-order, these two officers have involved the
responsibility of the State, in view of the fact that they acted in their capacity of officers and used the
means placed at their disposition by virtue of that capacity.
Indemnity awarded.